Β© 2021
background_fid.jpg
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Twitter auctioned off office supplies, including a pizza oven and neon bird sign

Twitter is auctioning off office, kitchen and tech supplies from its San Francisco headquarters as its financial struggles continue.
Noah Berger
/
AP
Twitter is auctioning off office, kitchen and tech supplies from its San Francisco headquarters as its financial struggles continue.

Updated January 18, 2023 at 1:35 PM ET

Are you in need of some mid-century modern furniture, industrial kitchen equipment or audio-visual systems? Or looking to brighten up your apartment with a giant neon bird sign?

Then you're in luck. Twitter's San Francisco headquarters auctioned off "surplus corporate office assets" online for a fleeting 27 hours, giving potential lucky bidders the chance to take a piece of the struggling company home with them.

Auction house Global Heritage Partners is running the de facto fire sale, which closed at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) on Wednesday and charged a buyer's premium of 18%.

The 631 lots include office supplies like projectors and massive white boards (in both old-school and digital form), kitchen equipment from espresso machines to refrigerators (including a kegerator beer dispenser), a wide variety of chairs and couches and miscellaneous modern-day workplace staples like assorted power adapters and KN95 masks in bulk.

There's also a bit of Twitter-specific memorabilia, including a six-foot-tall "@"-shaped planter sculpture filled with artificial flowers (with a high bid of $8,250), a blue neon sign in the shape of the app's bird logo ($22,500) and a smaller, sturdier bird statue ($20,500).

Other notable items include a pizza oven ($10,000), a conference room-sized booth ($7,250) and several individual soundproof phone booths, packs of high-end desk chairs ($4,900) and sit-stand desks ($900) and two stationary bikes that double as recharging stations ($2,400).

Overall, an eclectic assortment of goods and a jarring sight for those who once used them.

"Weird to see the Twitter office on auction," tweeted Kevin Weil, the company's former senior vice president of product. "Great memories from a different era."

Scott Budman, an NBC News tech and business reporter, pointed out some familiar items: A table where he interviewed former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got a bid for $1,000, the espresso machine where former editorial director Karen Wickre offered him coffee is going for $1,700.

"Good luck, I guess," he wrote.

Ross Dove, chief executive of Heritage Global, the parent company of Heritage Global Partners, told the New York Times that more than 20,000 people had registered to bid online β€” the most of any of the firm's auctions over the last 90 years and a fact he attributes to the public's fascination with Twitter and Musk himself. He estimated that the auction would net Twitter some $1.5 million.

The auction comes at a tough time for the company, which lost many major advertisers β€” as well as employees, thanks to layoffs and mass resignations β€” after Elon Musk took over in October and has since sought to aggressively cut costs and raise revenue.

Musk β€” who has announced his plans to resign as CEO β€” said in December that the company was "not, like, in the fast lane to bankruptcy anymore."

Still, its financial outlook remains murky, with the New York Times reporting that same month that Twitter had not paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters or any global offices for weeks and was considering denying people severance payments. Employees have also discussed the possibility of selling usernames to make money, the Times reported last week.

This month, Guinness World Records confirmed that Musk had broken the record for largest amount of money lost by one individual. He lost between $180 billion and $200 billion since November 2021, largely due to the poor performance of Tesla stocks in recent years.

Musk remains the second-richest person in the world and, as of this week, is on trial for securities fraud over a series of 2018 tweets teasing a Tesla buyout that never happened.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.